Press Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 19.11.1982:
The Minister of Welfare, Datin Paduka Aishah Ghani, takes a serious view of allegations of ‘reign of terror’ in Kuala Kubu Drug Baru Rehabilitation Centre imposed by senior inmates over junior inmates
In Parliament yesterday, I spoke to the Welfare Minister, Datin Paduka Aishah Ghani, about the case of Chow Yue Kum, 27, who escaped from the Kuala Kubu Baru Drug Rehabilitation Centre in fear of his life, and his allegations about the ‘reign of terror’ imposed by senior inmates over junior inmates, enforced by brutal physical assaults and violence.
I am glad that Datin Paduka Aisha Ghani takes a serious view of the matter, which is in sharp contrast with attempts by officials at the centre to dismiss the whole matter as one of ‘rangging’, or the ‘indifference’ attitude of ignorance about violence at the centre.
I expressed my concern to Datin Paduka Aishah Ghani that drug addicts sent to the Kuala Kubu Baru Drug Rehabilitation Centre should be able to be reformed, instead of being trained to become ‘hardened criminals’ by a system of violence and ‘reign of terror’ imposed by senior inmates over junior inmates, which centre officials were powerless to intervene.
There is an urgent need for the glare of publicity to expose the iniquitous system of ‘illegal government’ of senior inmates over junior inmates, which appears to have usurped the authority of the ‘legal government’ in the person of the centre officials.
The junior inmates are more frightened of the ‘illegal governments’ in the centre, self-styled as ‘MCA’ for Chinese inmates, ‘UMNO’ for Malay inmates and ‘MIC’ for Indian inmates, which imposed their will by brutal physical assault and violence, than the legal government officers.
Thus, Chow said he escaped from the Kuala Kubu Baru Drug Rehabilitation Centre because of his fear of the self-styled ‘UMNO’, ‘MCA’ and ‘MIC’ ‘governments’ rather than in fear of centre officials. And he made no attempt to stay away from the legal authorities, making his first effort to contact me so that he could be surrendered to the police.
The ‘reign of terror’ of the ‘illegal government’ of ‘MCA’, ‘UMNO’ and ‘MIC’ in the Kuala Kubu Baru Drug Rehabilitation Centre must be broken up, and as a first step, the Kuala Kubu Baru Drug Rehabilitation Centre should stop trying to deny the existence of such ‘illegal systems’ which is an open secret for quite some time, or to down-play the seriousness of such ‘reign of terror’ on junior inmates.
I suggest that an all-party Parliamentary Committee to formed to inquire into the shocking system in Kuala Kubu Baru Drug Rehabilitation Centre, and to make recommendations to restore lawful authority in the centre where the inmates do not live in fear of ‘illegal authorities’ imposed by senior inmates over junior inmates by force of violence.